Do you crave the smell of burning rubber? Want to see the road stretching out before you? Are you desperately craving the sounds and sensations of that roaring engine? You, I’m afraid, have driving fever. It’s a common condition, and as an—unqualified—doctor, I can tell you it’s one that’s best cured by watching some classic driving films. So, find yourself a comfy chair and some tasty snacks; turn off the light, switch off your phone and get ready to dive into a gas-guzzling cinematic thrill ride. Here are 5 of the best driving movies of all time!
5. Mad Max: Fury Road
Explosions, crazy cults and more outlandish vehicles than an American demolition derby. Max Max: Fury Road may be the first film in the franchise without Mel Gibson as the titular anti-hero, but everyone’s favourite Tom Hardy more than fills Gibson’s boots. The setup is simple: it’s a two-hour long post-apocalyptic car chase with outstanding special effects and one of the most interesting fictional societies ever put to film. For the adrenaline junkies out there, this one’s for you.
4. Thelma and Louise
Yes, Thelma and Louise is home to one of the most famous scenes in Hollywood history, but it's more than that. The film is a gripping tale of friendship, relationships and unexpected consequences—all centred around a spontaneous country-wide road trip. As the two heroines run from their unhappy lives and the pursuit of the law, they find themselves in a collection of scrapes and chance-encounters, enjoying their share of goofy moments along the way. The film is a fantastic piece of feminist-friendly cinema that gradually builds up the stakes and satisfies with one of the most well-known endings in movie history. Well worth a watch, no matter who you are.
3. Baby Driver
From Edgar Wright, the mind that brought us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, comes another top-notch film that combines a driving, an all-star cast, stellar writing and one killer soundtrack. Baby is a man of few words, a young getaway driver—with unrivalled skills behind the wheel—who finds himself wrapped up in all kinds of trouble when he tries to leave his criminal life behind. Like Mad Max, Baby Driver is an action-packed ride, but there’s more of an emotional core here with the central romance between Baby and love interest, Debora. Oh, and yes… the soundtrack is available to buy: you WILL want to buy it after watching.
2. Furious 7
Fast and Furious is the franchise that not only keeps on going, it keeps on growing too! While the films may not be quite as car-focused as they were in their first few instalments, cars will always be a part of the franchise’s DNA. Furious 7, as the fan favourite and swan-song of the late Paul Walker, ranks as our personal favourite too. We do, however, wonder why this entry’s title ditches the word “Fast” because, truly, there’s no better word to describe it. From the get-go, the series’ seventh entry is a never ending onslaught of adrenaline-pumping, high-stakes action and expensive cars that belong in the dreams of petrol-heads everywhere. The odds are you’ve probably already seen Furious 7, but it’s probably time for a rewatch, right?
1. Le Mans ‘66 (or “Ford v Ferrari”)
What could possibly satisfy a car-cinema craving better than the real-life tale of two car industry Goliaths going head-to-head? Le Mans ‘66 tells the story of Carroll Shelby and Ken Miles (Matt Damon and Christian Bale, respectively) as they lead the effort to build the now legendary Ford GT40 and overthrow Ferrari’s position of dominance at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race. There may be little in the way of explosions, gunshots or stunts, but Le Mans ‘66 is engaging in its own way. Plus, with fantastic performances from Damon, Bale and a strong supporting cast, this flick will appeal to anyone—from Ford fanatics to people who’d struggle to differentiate a GT from a Ka.
Have we missed your all-time favourite driving movie? Don’t hold your tongue: let us know! We’d love to hear what driving flicks get you on the edge of your seat with your heart racing and blood pumping at a hundred miles per hour!